National Political News:
1. J&K government formation after the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has run into a stalemate as the daughter of the late Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who heads PDP is mourning her father’s death. J&K has been put under Presidents rule as some PDP leaders are against continuing the tie up with BJP. BJP emissary Ram Madhav has returned to Delhi after fruitless talks with PDP leaders in Srinagar.
2. Pakistan claims to have taken action against the perpetrators of Pathankot attack. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief has constituted a joint investigation team comprising of officials of Military Intelligence, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Pak. Intelligence Bureau to investigate the evidence provided by India. Subsequent raids are there at Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts of Pakistan to arrest several individuals connected with JEM and have also sealed their offices.
3. Kerala is the first state of the country to have 100% primary education status under the state literacy mission drive.
4. MakarSankranti celebrated in India. Kite flying marks the occassion. Makar is the sun sign of Capricon and Sankranti means movement of sun from one Zodiac sign Dankshinayana to Uttarayana. As per solar calendar this festival falls on the same date every year. Other Hindu festivals are based on lunar calendar and their dates vary every year.
International Political News:
1. US demonstrates its strength by flying B-52 bombers and F-15, F-16 fighter aircraft capable of nuclear bombing over South Korean Peninsula, as a warning to North Korea over its clams of testing a hydrogen bomb.
2. A Baghdad mall stormed by gunmen killing 18 and wounding 50 people in a suicide attack. ISIS believed to be behind it. Iraqi forces are now in control of the situation in the area.
68 ISIS suspects detained by Turkish Govt. in raids conducted by it in Turkey.
3. President Obama of the US in his last State of Union address berates Pakistan as a new terror safe haven besides West Asia, parts of Africa and Central America.
4. 7 ISIS suicide attackers out of which 2 taken alive were behind the suicide bomb attacks in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, which is the World’s most populous Muslim nation. Spectreof expending ISIS presence in South East Asia is raised. The attack was near Starbuck’s café and departmental store. One Canadian national was killed and 20 foreigners were hurt in the attack.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo’sefforts to raise the economic growth and to make Indonesia a stable maritime power have taken a hit because of deemed ISIS presence in that country.
1. E.T awards for corporate excellence given by Times of India group at Mumbai’s iconic Taj Hotel. UdayKotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank wins the award in the category of business leader this year. The company of the year award goes to HUL (Hindustan Unilever Ltd) and the life time achievement award was won by Ramadorai former CEO of TCS. The Entrepreneur of the year award was won by KunalBehl of Snapdeal. The award ceremony was presided over by the Finance Minister ArunJaitley and other central ministers also graced the occasion.
2. Global Glut in coffee, as an estimated coffee crop of 58 million bags will be there in 2016-17. The excess this year is of 8 million bags of 60 kilograms each. Coffee Arabica’s share is of 41.8 million bags and the rest is of coffee Robusta and other grades. The Brazilian output is up and the Vietnam output of coffee has shrunk. The weight measure of coffee, the world over is in bags instead of the standard commodity weight given in tons.
3. The blue print for startups function inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi to create an environment similar to Silicon valley in California, United States. The incentives offered are of tax breaks and a three year income tax holiday for a new startup from April 2016 to March 2019. Complete tax exemptions on capital gains, along with no labour law inspections for three years. A system of self-certification for labour and environment registrations etc. and faster approvals shall be accorded. The patent and trade mark fee shall be cut by 80%. The government has defined the startup as an entity incorporated or otherwise registered less than 5 years ago with an annual turnover of less than Rs. 25 crores in the preceding financial year. This shall give a boost towards innovation, development of new products, processes& services, driven by technology or intellectual property.
4. Unicorn is a $1 billion startup and Decacorn a $10 billion startup in the US.
5. Indian Stock Market indices Sensex and Nifty fall to a 19 month low of 24455 and 7437 with a sharp sell of as oil prices fall below $30 a barrel on recommencement of Iranian oil supplies. Markets the world over have also cracked with the American index Dow Jones falling 326 point a day. The crude prices are now at a 12 year low.
Science and Technology:
1. Scientist at Ohio state university in USA (All Sky Automated Survey for Super Novae teams ASAS-SN) has discovered a 16 km wide supernova, the most luminous,almost 200 times greater than the average supernova. It is 570 billion times brighter than our sun and 20 times brighter than stars in the Milky Way. It is called ASAS-SN-15IH and is situated 3.8 billion light years away. Supernova’s are formed as a result of violent stellar explosions.
1. Swiss player Stan Wawrinkawins the Chennai Open – 20thedition with a win over BornaCoric of Croatia at SDAT stadium, Chennai 6-3, 7-5.
2. FIFA Baloon d’or award given in Zurich for player of the year in world soccer to Lionel Messi of Argentina.
3. England beat South Africa in the 3rd test at Johannesburg in 3 days on the back of their Stuart Broads fiery spell of 6 wickets for 17 runs. England scored 323 and 77 for 3 wickets to beat South Africa who scored 313 and 83 all out in both the innings. England take a winning 2-0 lead in the 3 test series being played in South Africa